WH: This isn’t a war, it’s a “kinetic military action”

posted at 8:48 am on March 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

To channel Glenn Reynolds, they told me that if I voted for John McCain, we’d get an administration that used Orwellian terms in an attempt to hide its military adventurism — and they were right!  While Congress demanded answers from Barack Obama for bypassing Congress to send the American military into battle in Libya, one of his national security advisers told the press that bombing and strafing another nation’s military wasn’t really a war at all.  Byron York reports:

In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war?  From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no.  But that leaves the question: What is it?

In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer.  “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said.  “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

Rhodes’ words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya.  “Military steps — and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range — are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi,” Donilon said.

As York explains, the Pentagon uses the term “kinetic” to differentiate between violent action and other military operations, such as cyberwarfare or roles strictly relating to logistics and support.  They don’t use it as a euphemism for war, but suddenly the Obama administration has adopted it for that very purpose.

It’s not the first euphemism for war that the White House has introduced, either.  Almost two years ago, the administration announced that they would abandon the phrase “global war on terror” and replace it with “overseas contingency operations.”  Unfortunately, not all terrorist attacks happened overseas, as the Fort Hood shooting, the attempt to blow up Times Square, and the Underwear Bomber proved.  In case that term didn’t prove elastic enough, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano introduced “man-caused disasters” to replace “terrorist attack.”

Oddly, these never quite caught on.  As it happens, people recognize terrorism as something a little more specific than a “man caused disaster,” and the threat from al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks as more dangerous than a generic “contingency.”  Similarly, when one nation sends its military to attack the military of another nation, it’s an act of war, not an example of kinetic energy.

Perhaps next year, Obama and his team of Orwellian obfuscators can experience a kinetic electoral action — when the voters kick their rear ends out of the White House.


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Oh my, little Bammie has learned a new word from the military. Maybe it was one of BOR’s new words of the day? Next he’ll be talking about strike packages and sorties. Does he pronounce it correctly?

What next.

slickwillie2001 on March 24, 2011 at 8:51 AM

“We’re not attacking them, we just happen to be shooting our guns in their direction.”

fossten on March 24, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Obama and his team of Orwellian obfuscators can experience a kinetic electoral action — when the voters kick their rear ends out of the White House.

heh me likey

cmsinaz on March 24, 2011 at 8:53 AM

This is the Chomsky-Axelrod way: Linguistic chicanery mulled with marketing strategies.

onlineanalyst on March 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM

they really do think we are that stupid…

lsm to begin using this term in 5…4…3..

cmsinaz on March 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM

The only kinetic military action Ogabe knows is making in his pants.

DeweyWins on March 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM

We’re gonna need a no-fly zone around Obama soon, as the stink from this sort of BS is bound to draw ‘em.

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Lemme guess: this “kinetic military action” thing was coined by some guy who’d call a military effort “Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony Odyssey Dawn.”

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

If it’s not war, is our military being used for terrorism? Of course it’s war.

itsnotaboutme on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

This is nothing than a purposeful diversion to keep the American people from thinking about the deficit and debt and to get the Republicans holding hearings on Libya and vocng support for Obama. Right on cue the deficit debate has been lost and Republicans are applauding Obama’s effort. Nice Work guys.

Dr_Irish on March 24, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Honestly speaking, this is much more “policing action” than war, at least so long as we are just blowing up hardware.

Count to 10 on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

So is this “kinetic military action” in any way related to the “overseas contingency operation?”

By the way, the output of boots, chocolate rations and razor blades was well beyond expectations this year. Well-done, comrades!

Good Lt on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

The term: police action, comes to mind – as does the (never) end.

OldEnglish on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

We’re gonna need a no-fly zone around Obama soon, as the stink from this sort of BS is bound to draw ‘em.

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Or maybe just sticky-tape hanging from his lapels

Ugly on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Our men and women in uniform are putting their lives at risk. Not a word game. Call it what it is.

publiuspen on March 24, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Jesus, what a bunch of p-ssies we have running this country. Just call it a damn war already. Everyone knows that’s what it is.

Doughboy on March 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Sing it!

Kinetic military action
(Huh!)
What is it good for?
Abosolutely… uh…

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Count to 10 on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Mind-meld. :)

OldEnglish on March 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM

And a carjacking isn’t a robbery, it’s a “kinetic private-sector automotive acquisition”

The Monster on March 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Eschew obfuscation.

Akzed on March 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Winning
The
Future!!

Mord on March 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM

OY! How so many people in this country were stupid enough to vote for this idiot I’ll never understand.

I just pray none of America’s finest are lost in this “kinetic” military action.

gophergirl on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Words. Just words.
What a disgusting Administration.

kingsjester on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

/Tin foil hat On/ I think the White House has caught on to people trying to view the page. Clicked on the link and got a “not found or moved” error. /Tin foil hat off/

Duncan Khuver on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

It’s not WAR war…

-Whoopi

miConsevative on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

This is the Chomsky-Axelrod way: Linguistic chicanery mulled with marketing strategies.

onlineanalyst on March 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Dead on sir. People seem to forget the linguist by profession – Chomsky – didnt become a liberal darling due to his political knowledge.

He wrote the guidelines for “Liberal Speak For Dummies”

Odie1941 on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Whoops make that the white house page link. The other one works.

Duncan Khuver on March 24, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Lemme guess: this “kinetic military action” thing was coined by some guy who’d call a military effort “Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony Odyssey Dawn.”

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

ROTFL

miConsevative on March 24, 2011 at 9:03 AM

What they meant was that it’s not war – war.

rbj on March 24, 2011 at 9:03 AM

It is actually “Compulsive Community Organizing”

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 9:03 AM

First there was WTF, now we have another unfortunate acronym: KMA.

debg on March 24, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Rhodes is obamfuscating what war really is. If you’re the guy getting shot at, it’s war!

Mojave Mark on March 24, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Perhaps next year, Obama and his team of Orwellian obfuscators can experience a kinetic electoral action — when the voters kick their rear ends out of the White House.

—- Can I get an AMEN!!!

georgealbert on March 24, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Everyone, and I mean everyone in this administration is a pathetic clown. Maybe whats-her-face was right when she said that PBHO believes himself to be uber-intelligent; he really expects us to buy this line of bullshiite.

Bishop on March 24, 2011 at 9:05 AM

When you want to retool society, you start by retooling its words.

The “American Dream” is no longer about self-fulfillment; it’s about government-reliance.

“Fiscal discipline” isn’t responsible; it’s mean.

Firing missiles isn’t “war”; it’s kinetic action.

It’s hard to define in words how eager I am to help Obama find new employment in January, 2013. I guarantee, he will not have “lost an election”; he will have been fired.

beatcanvas on March 24, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Sing it!

Kinetic military action
(Huh!)
What is it good for?
Abosolutely… uh…

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Nothing!

steebo77 on March 24, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I’m not equating the morality, but “kinectic” military action was what happened at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese intent was to keep us out of war, to establish a no-fly and no-sail zone. Regardless, bombing military targets is an act of war, regardless of what is hoped to change.

Imagine if Lybia were able to attack the U.S. with 1/1000 the “kinectic military activity” we’ve just dished out. We’d be saying, rightly, it was an act of war.

G. Charles on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Obama and his team of Orwellian obfuscators can experience a kinetic electoral action — when the voters kick their rear ends out of the White House.

and they follow a ballistic path followed by a hard landing.

physics.

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Physics is hard evidently.
Kinetic military action. That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard from that Bozo Administration.

Badger40 on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Odyssey Dawn..Sounds like a good name for a stripper!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Operation Kinetic Military Action

Operation KMA

Kiss My A$$

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Obama: A container of thin layers of impurities.

Go grab a thesaurus and figure that one out, Mr. Empty Pants.

Jerome Horwitz on March 24, 2011 at 9:09 AM

“I did not have sex with that woman”
- Bill Clinton

“We are not at war in Lybia”
- B H Obama

Hening on March 24, 2011 at 9:09 AM

these 40lb eggheads know not a thing about military action, nor kinetics.

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:10 AM

It is actually “Compulsive Frenetic Community Organizing”

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Fixored?

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 9:10 AM

We’re gonna need a no-fly zone around Obama soon, as the stink from this sort of BS is bound to draw ‘em.

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Or maybe just sticky-tape hanging from his lapels

Ugly on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

He just lets them crawl around on him like the dog turd he is.

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:11 AM

This administration is a man-caused disaster.

CDeb on March 24, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Oceania has never had a kinetic military action against Eastasia….

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Odyssey Dawn..Sounds like a good name for a stripper!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Did you finally get out of your coma?
We mentioned that on Sunday. ;)

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:14 AM

this is more like a round shaped collection of males engaging in a rapid reciprocal action upon a linear, cylindrical object….

aka …..a circle jerk.

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:14 AM

I’m surprised the word “military” even made it into this new term.

JetBoy on March 24, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Lemme guess: this “kinetic military action” thing was coined by some guy who’d call a military effort “Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony Odyssey Dawn.”

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Do you read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality?

The Monster on March 24, 2011 at 9:15 AM

He just lets them crawl around on him like the dog turd he is.

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:11 AM

My dog’s doody just called in a complaint.

Ugly on March 24, 2011 at 9:16 AM


Unfortunately, not all terrorist attacks happened overseas, as the Fort Hood shooting, the attempt to blow up Times Square, and the Underwear Bomber proved.

Now wait just a minute! Those weren’t terrorists, they were isolated incidents!

Tony737 on March 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Sorry.. I must have missed it!..I will try to do better in the future!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of Kinetic Military Action!

MJBrutus on March 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Perfect hening

cmsinaz on March 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

It would be almost worth it for Trump to win president if nothing else but to hear him say.. Obama your fired!

tinkerthinker on March 24, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of Kinetic Military Action!

MJBrutus on March 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

The Art of War Kinetic Military Action
–Sun Tzu

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Kinetic Military Action Games

starring Matthew Broderick

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM

revisionist history:

The Civil Kinetic Military Action
1861-1865

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM

“Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony” – Apostic

Thread

phuqqin’

winner.

Tony737 on March 24, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Sorry.. I must have missed it!..I will try to do better in the future!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM

No biggie DS, it was my first comment after the ‘kinetic military action’ was given a snappy handle.

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Kinetic Military Action II

engagements in the Pacific: Guadalcanal, Midway Island and Corregidor

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Seriously, a “kinetic military action”? WTF?

This is an unserious administration.

BuckeyeSam on March 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

It’s just too bad that we won’t get to see Robert Gibbs saying this to the Press Corps with a crap-eating grin on his face.

Chuckie on March 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM

“Military steps — and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range — are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi,” Donilon said.

Speechless.

JellyToast on March 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM

The man is a delusional nut.

rplat on March 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM

In order to win the Kinetic Military Action in Afghanistan, we are going to have to surge 30,000 troops forward.

“are you going to need lube for that?” asks, jake tapper….

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

I wonder if this new term would apply if Venezuela were to do the same things to Mexico that the USA is doing to Libya.

Maybe some smart reporter should ask Gadhafi if he thinks this is a war.

MikeA on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

My wife’s response to this announcement was:

“Duh, spinning!”

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

It was a tough read, but I finally made it through Kinetic Military Action and Placid Civilian Inaction by Leo Tolstoy

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

someone get me my VICTORY GIN! The end of this Kinetic Military Action is reason to celebrate!!@

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

The Zionist Entity is considering using kinetic military action against Palestinian strikers who initiated a man-caused disaster operation against members of the global Jewish infestation.

Thinking in liberal is quite the exercise in language.

Bishop on March 24, 2011 at 9:26 AM

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Good Deal!..You made a good post Saturday!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

She must have Adonis DNA

Ugly on March 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Odyssey Dawn..Sounds like a good name for a stripper!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Into Syria… Operation Christy Canyon

Into Bahrain …. Operation Ginger Lynn

Caper29 on March 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Is the military dropping happy meals on Libya? No?

Then it’s an act of war we are perpetrating.

44Magnum on March 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

“Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony” – Apostic

Thread

phuqqin’

winner.

Tony737 on March 24, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Heh, not mine. We went nuts on gag yesterday.

apostic on March 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

War Kinetic Military Action and Peace
-L. Tolstoy

First POTUS who never served under arms, no?

ss396 on March 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

What’s non kinetic energy? Meals on wheels?

Maybe he could use a little of that kinetic energy against the man made disaster people, or whatever he was calling the terrorists.

It’s already been said, this would all be so laughable but it’s happening on the world stage in front of Iran, China and Russia. It’s going to be a long two years.

JellyToast on March 24, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Caper29 on March 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

LOL!..:)

Dire Straits on March 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

She must have Adonis DNA

Ugly on March 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Venus

darwin-t on March 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

THIS JUST IN

Obama’s FDA labels cow manure “beef by-product”.

heldmyw on March 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Kinetic Military Action is hell – William Tecumseh Sherman

MJBrutus on March 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

In keeping with the times, publishers are considering rebranding Leo Tolstoy’s literary classic as Kinetic Military Action and Peace in an upcoming reprint.

Channeling ted c here

RepubChica on March 24, 2011 at 9:34 AM

A rose by any other name…

Would still smell like a war.

Cinematicfilm on March 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Just more of the non stop BS coming out of the White House!

GFW on March 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I think I’ve just experienced a Kinetic Gastrointestinal Action.

ExPat on March 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

WTF and KMA have been brilliant, appropriately named programs.
Let me propose a new euphemism/acronym for Barry’s brain trust:

Fundamental
Unified
Battle
Action
Response

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 24, 2011 at 9:38 AM

As opposed to a static military action? As opposed to a kinetic postal action? What the hell are you taking about, President Pyle??

JohnGalt23 on March 24, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Of course you know this means Kinetic Military Action
- Foghorn Leghorn

MJBrutus on March 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Operation Kinetic Military Action
Operation KMA
Kiss My A$$
ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Is this a follow-up to Scooter’s stealth scratching his face with his middle finger maneuver?

kingsjester on March 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

if a guy is in the military and happens to fall on the ground laughing his a$$ off at this bullsh!t characterization, does that constitute ‘kinetic military action?’

jus askin’…

ted c on March 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM

a new kind of war: a jive war

Dhuka on March 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

A frightening thought just occurred to me . . . many people actually believe the insane propaganda gushing from that regime. This poor sick Republic is in deep trouble.

rplat on March 24, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Sounds like something Clinton would have said….well, about sex, not putting people’s lives at risk and blowing up stuff in another country.

Someone should catalog all this newspeak before it goes down the memory hole.

Asher on March 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

1 – KMA
2 – ?
3 – Profit!, err democrary!, umm unicorns!

tomg51 on March 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

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